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Biodegradable Poly(Butylene Adipate-Co-Terephthalate) and Thermoplastic Starch-Blended TiO2 Nanocomposite Blown Films as Functional Active Packaging of Fresh Fruit

Biodegradable polymers can be used for eco-friendly, functional, active packaging to preserve food quality. Incorporation of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles into polymer packaging enhances ethylene-scavenging activity and extends the shelf-life of fresh produce. In this study, TiO2 nanoparticles were incorporated into biodegradable poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT)- and thermoplastic cassava starch (TPS)-blended films to produce nanocomposite packaging via blown-film extrusion. The effects of TiO2 on morphology, packaging properties, and applications as functional packaging for fresh produce were investigated. Increased TiO2 in the film packaging increased amorphous starch content and hydrogen bonding by interacting with the TPS phase of the polymer blend, with negligible chemical interaction with the PBAT component and identical mechanical relaxation in the PBAT phase. Surface topography indicated void space due to non-homogeneous dispersion causing increased oxygen and carbon dioxide permeability. Homogeneous dispersion of fine TiO2 nanoparticles increased mechanical strength and reduced oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor permeability. Films containing TiO2 also showed efficient oxygen-scavenging activity that removed residual oxygen from the package headspace dependent on the levels and morphology of nanoparticles in the film matrices. Banana fruit packaged in films containing TiO2 recorded slower darkening color change and enhanced shelf-life with increasing TiO2 content.

Publication date: 30/11/2021

Author: Danaya Phothisarattana

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13234192

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.